The first edition of Reggae Gold was released in June 1993. Twenty-five years later, the various artistes compilation is still one of the biggest sellers for independent label VP Records.
The 25th anniversary edition is scheduled to be released on July 27.
Aaron Talbert, vice-president of marketing at VP Records, said the initial objective of Reggae Gold has been achieved.
“Our goal for Reggae Gold is to present the best in reggae music each year. We have done our best to achieve that for 25 years. This year, our goals can be summarised as deepening our roots in the music and expanding the vision for the future,” he said.
Reggae Gold 1993 featured 16 songs, mostly major hits in the ethnic market. Among the tracks were Fall in Love by Sanchez, Everybody by Capleton, Lover Manby Daddy Screw, Sweetness by Beres Hammond, Action by Terror Fabulous and Nadine Sutherland, Wickie Dickie by Buju Banton and Nadine Sutherland, Hello Mama Africa by Garnet Silk, Position by Terror Fabulous, and Sound Boy Killing by Mega Banton.
Two of the songs from Reggae Gold 1993 became crossover hits in America — Sound Boy Killing and Action.
Reggae Gold has been a platform to the mainstream for reggae and dancehall songs in North America. Several songs that made the compilation have impacted commercial radio in the United States.
These include Sean Paul’s Gimmie The Light and Temperature, and Tanto Metro and Devonte’s Give it to Her and Everyone Falls in Love.
The 2003 edition has been the biggest seller to date, selling more than 250,000 copies in the US. Elephant Man’s Pon Di River Pon Di Bank, Wayne Wonder’s No Letting Go (remix featuring LL Cool J and Duchess), Get Busy by Sean Paul, Hey Sexy Lady by Shaggy and Brian and Tony Gold, and Sasha’s Dat Sexy Body were among the tracks featured.
Reggae Gold 2018 has two discs. Disc One has 19 tracks, including Easy to Love You (remix) by Culan featuring Konshens; Walking Trophy by Hood Celebrityy (currently climbing the Billboard Hip Hop Airplay chart), Better by Estelle, Risk it Allby Jah Cure and Phyllisia Ross, Still by Romain Virgo, Come Back by Christopher Martin, Bawl Out by Dovey Magnum, Stay So by Busy Signal, Ghetto Paradise by Chronixx, Medication by Damian Marley featuring Stephen Marley, and Black Woman by Queen Ifrica.
Disc Two features a mix by Rory StoneLove with dancehall and reggae hits from the 1990s such as Batty Rider by Buju Banton, Tight Up Skirt by Red Rat, Benz and Bimma by Bounty Killer, Who Say Mi Done by Cutty Ranks, Hardcore (It’s Raining)by Lady Saw, When I Hold You Tonight by General Degree, Fresh Vegetable by Tony Rebel and Substitute by Half Pint.
Talbert said a lot of work went into selecting the songs.
“Our A&R director Neil “Diamond” Edwards put the track selection together based on the selection of current hits and new music from some of our signed artistes’.
Christopher Chin, president of VP Records, said Reggae Gold remains the benchmark for the hottest songs coming out of Jamaica.
“ Reggae Gold continues to be the marker for the hottest tracks in the genre every year. As we approach the 25th year of this brand, we are happy to offer the best current and past music to honour the legacy and look forward to the future’.
By: Kevin Jackson